Mount Vernon Nazarene University: Life Changing


"... a tremendous day in the life of our University," says Dr. Dan Martin, MVNU President

Ariel Arena
March 2, 2012

Mount Vernon Nazarene University formally broke ground on a multi-million dollar construction project on Friday, March 2, which will result in a 68,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art athletic arena for the MVNU campus. The new facility, scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, will immediately become one of the largest event spaces available in the Mount Vernon and Knox County communities.

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"This is a tremendous day in the life of our University," said Dr. Daniel J. Martin, President of Mount Vernon Nazarene University. "A new MVNU athletic arena has been a dream of ours for some time. Today, I am pleased to announce that the MVNU Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to recognize the generous support of Karen Buchwald Wright, President and CEO of Ariel Corporation, toward the mission of vision of our University by naming this new facility Ariel Arena. We are grateful for her leadership giving, which has made this dream a reality."

Ariel Arena will be the new home of the MVNU basketball and volleyball teams and will feature a center court with horseshoe seating for 2,100. When configured for concerts, performances, and other special events, the new facility will accommodate 3,000 individuals. This investment reinforces MVNU's commitment to Mount Vernon and Knox County, a point driven home by Mount Vernon Mayor Richard K. Mavis during Friday's ceremony. "I suspect that every mayor in America is envious of me today," said Mavis, during his brief remarks. "Our community is moving ahead, and Mount Vernon Nazarene University has been a big part of that. Thank you for your contributions to our city and community."

Perhaps most significantly, Ariel Arena will be a signature element of MVNU's commitment to the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community with premier fitness facilities as well as additional gathering spaces. Among other features, the Ariel Arena will include:

  • Three full-sized athletic courts
  • A spacious lobby overlooking the arena
  • A special event banquet hall seating 225
  • A state-of-the-art Athletic Training Center
  • Cardio fitness and weight rooms
  • Classrooms, locker rooms, and offices

"This will be facility that not only our athletes will appreciate, but the entire campus community," said Paul Swanson, MVNU Athletic Director.

MVNU is once again collaborating with Sol Harris/Day Architecture which was also involved in the University's two recent building projects in downtown Mount Vernon: Hunter Hall, which is home to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Buchwald Center, which houses the Art and Design Department. The new project will also include a redesign and renovation of the current Prince Student Union, which will ultimately adjoin the new facility.

The public can follow progress of Ariel Arena online at, where conceptual drawings may be viewed and a "construction cam" will provide time-lapsed photos of the construction in progress.

"I am extremely excited about the impact Ariel Arena will have on our community," said Dr. Martin. "Not only will this investment allow us to provide an outstanding experience for our athletes and the entire student body, but I believe it will dramatically strengthen the bond between our University and the surrounding community for decades to come."

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students and working adults. With a 400-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several additional Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,600 students from 26 states and seven countries/U.S. territories.

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